Balloons are a must for any party. They can make things festive and fun! But what if they could also benefit your health? Yes, it’s true, blowing up balloons is good for you!
A specific technique is to lay down on your back with your feet on the wall. This will put your hips and knees at a 90-degree angle. A ball is also placed in between your knees to activate muscles, contract the pelvic floor, and provide stability.
To start a balloon exercise, hold the balloon in one hand. Inhale through your nose for 3 to 4 seconds, and exhale into the balloon for 5 to 8 seconds.1 The controlled breathing, as seen in yoga, will do amazing things for your health.
After learning about these five benefits of balloon exercises, you’ll never look at a balloon the same way again.
1. Better Breathing
Doing balloon exercises will continuously activate your diaphragm and transversus abdominus (TVA), the deepest layer of abs. They’ll become nice and strong, allowing them to work at maximum efficiency. This will lead to healthy respiration.2
Ultimately, proper breathing depends on the diaphragm.3 Balloon exercises will optimize its contractions and therefore, the way you breathe.
2. Increased Lung Capacity
When your diaphragm works at maximum efficiency, so do your lungs. After all, the diaphragm is responsible for pulling air into the lungs.4 And when the diaphragm contracts at optimal force, the more air your lungs will get.
Even smokers can benefit from balloon exercises. Typically, they have weak respiratory muscles and poor lung function. These factors can lead to poor breathing, making it hard to exercise.
However, a study in The Journal of Physical Therapy Science found that four weeks of balloon-blowing exercises can reverse these issues. The exercises were done in three sets with a rest time of more than one minute in between. The results improved lung function and capacity, even in elderly smokers.5
3. Improved Posture
You might not realize it, but many muscles used for breathing are also used for posture. Examples include the diaphragm, pelvic muscles, and TVA. These muscles are crucial for spinal stability, especially along the lumbar region.
When you take a deep breath, the diaphragm contracts on the center. The TVA contracts off center at the same time. When you exhale, these actions are reversed. The diaphragm contracts off center while the TVA contracts in the center.
During a balloon exercise, you need to inhale and exhale deeply. Doing this repeatedly strengthens both the diaphragm and TVA. Even your pelvic floor will become stabilized, offering support for your spine.
The result? A healthier and better posture.6
4. Pain Relief
These muscle benefits of balloon exercises will also relieve pain. It’s no different than any workout that strengthens the muscles! The more active they are, the more tension they release.
In fact, lower back pain is linked to poor breathing and posture, two things that balloon exercises can improve. The joint that connects your lower back to your pelvis may also be affected. But thanks to balloon exercises, this pain can be relieved.7
5. Increased Quality Of Life
All of these benefits will enhance your quality of life. The optimal lung function will make exercising more comfortable, increasing the chances of regular practice. You can also wave goodbye to respiratory fatigue and pain.
Everyday activities will become more bearable. This can be anything from playing with your grandkids to walking up the stairs.8 It’ll all add up to a happier life.
Who knew balloons could be so great? The best part is that they’re cheap and easy to find. For even more benefits, practice yoga and controlled breathing techniques.9
References [ + ]
|1, 2, 6, 7.||↑||Boyle, Kyndall L., Josh Olinick, and Cynthia Lewis. “The value of blowing up a balloon.” North American journal of sports physical therapy: NAJSPT 5, no. 3 (2010): 179.|
|3, 4.||↑||Diaphragm and lungs. MedlinePlus.|
|5.||↑||Jun, Hyun-Ju, Ki-Jong Kim, Ki-Won Nam, and Chang-Heon Kim. “Effects of breathing exercises on lung capacity and muscle activities of elderly smokers.” Journal of physical therapy science 28, no. 6 (2016): 1681-1685.|
|8.||↑||Jun, Hyun-Ju, Ki-Jong Kim, Ki-Won Nam, and Chang-Heon Kim. “Effects of breathing exercises on lung capacity and muscle activities of elderly smokers.” Journal of physical therapy science 28, no. 6 (2016): 1681-1685.|
|9.||↑||Breathing Techniques. COPD Foundation.|